[Draft][FAQ] about www-validator@w3.org

While editing the validator's feedback page with more details on how 
the mailing-list works, I thought it might be a good idea to send this 
info to the list itself, too...

Still a draft, so comments are welcome.


* the www-validator mailing list - purpose and audience *
The www-validator mailing-list is a multipurpose forum for:
- feedback
- discussion
- (support)
about various quality tools being developed at W3C, namely:
  - the Markup Validator, also called "validator"
  - the Link checker, a.k.a checklink
  - the Log Validator
The list is *not*:
- a discussion forum on HTML
- a support forum on coding HTML
- a list for the CSS Validator (which has its own list, 

* Etiquette and conventions *
Because the list has such varied uses, participants on the list also 
tend to vary greatly in shapes and sizes, from the SGML expert who has 
been on the list for 6 years to the newcomer in HTML who's just heard 
of the concept of validity... This variety makes the list's strength, 
and a few simple rules can help keep the tone friendly and the 
discussion constructive:
- Newcomers should read a little documentation[1] and check the list's 
archives[2] before asking questions that have been answered a thousand 
times already.
[1] http://validator.w3.org/docs/help.html
[1] http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/problems.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-validator/

- In return, experts need to remember they have been newbies too, and 
should remain (nice and) patient at all times.

- We try to focus the scope discussion on topics directly related to 
the tools covered. Discussions on the markup languages are tolerated to 
a certain extent, only if they result from a thread about the tools, 
and provided the topic does not shift too much. Discussions shifting 
towards general discussions on HTML should be moved to the more 
appropriate www-html list.

- Everyone has the right to their opinion, if sent in a constructive, 
reasonable manner. For example, trolling, constant ranting and 
aggressing people "for being such idiots" is not exactly considered 
constructive and reasonable...

* Good ways to send feedback *
Whether you are asking a question or submitting feedback, remember that 
accuracy and details will improve the credibility of your message, and 
the quality of answers you will get.

Try to include a meaningful subject, a link to the page you tried to 
validate, and as many details as possible about your problem or 
reported bug. Being polite is also a good idea and will make you save 
face if you happen to be wrong :).

For example, if you think you found a bug, do not send this:
Subject: Bug

Your terrible validator is broken.
It says my page is not valid, but it's perfect!
What a stupid tool!!!!!! LOL

Instead, try:
Subject: [Bug] Error instead of warning for charset mismatch

I tried to validate my XHTML1 page at:
But the Validator claimed it was not valid because of a "character 
encoding mismatch".

If I understand correctly, the charset info sent by the server has the 
priority, regardless of information in my document, right? I suppose 
there should be a warning, but I still think the document is actually 

Is that a known bug?
I could not find it in your Bug database at

Thank you,

(note: any similarity with an existing "error instead of warning" bug 
would be totally accidental. no, really...)


... and thank you all for being such a cool mailing-list.

Received on Tuesday, 17 February 2004 03:33:52 UTC